Christmas 2013 Update

Guess what?! This is a reasonably timely post! Woohoo!

Christmas was fantastic this year. We went to the 4:00 service at St. Julian’s on Christmas Eve. The kids both opted not to be in the pageant, but we enjoyed watching the other children. It was the perfect service for our squirmy kiddos. There were plenty of other wiggly, not-quite-silent children there, so ours were perfectly comfortable and I spent very little time worrying about their activity level. Isaac even held a lit candle through an entire song and didn’t catch anything on fire! 🙂

We had chili from the slow cooker that night, so it was a nice relaxing meal time. We watched Elf to unwind before bed.

Kids went to bed at semi-reasonable hours and then Todd and I finished our Santa prepping. I think we did pretty well – we were in bed by 11:30, which was better than I expected. Isaac may still have been singing in his room at that point…

He ended up sleeping late because he’d been too excited to fall asleep the night before. Laine awoke at 8:30 and Isaac woke about 10 minutes later. That worked out just FINE for Mom and Dad!

Isaac was the first to unwrap a gift, of course:

Laine got a helmet because she keeps trying to ride Isaac’s bike and she generally moves too quickly for our comfort.

Isaac got some new Lincoln Logs to supplement the set he got from Aunt Kristin and Uncle Dave last year. We have spent the majority of 12/26 building with the two sets combined.

Laine had to take a brief respite to carry on with all of the unwrapping.

The kids got Todd a coffee mug for work. It has pictures of the 2 of them on it. Isaac helped him open it.

Jackson got an enormous chew bone, but was moving too fast for me to get a good shot of him with it.

One of the favorite gifts of the day was the tent from Todd’s sister, Shannon, and her family. Isaac even slept in it in his room last night. This thing is going to get a LOT of use.

It was fun to watch Laine carefully pull tiny pieces of wrapping off of boxes while Isaac yanked them open as fast as possible. It’s hard to know how much is difference in dexterity versus temperament.

I have learned that I apparently have an addiction to BBC programming. Some of my favorite gifts were a Tardis mug from my sister, Doctor Who and Sherlock shirts, and a Harry Potter/Doctor Who necklace. Todd also got me the full set of Harry Potter Blu-Ray discs. (He also got me tickets to see Wicked in Austin next March, but that’s not related to the BBC. I got him the box-set of West Wing on DVD – also not from the BBC.)

The kids were excited about gifts from Aunt Kristin and Uncle Dave. 

“It’s mine and I love it!”

Laine and I checked out Bell, who is Jingle’s new best friend. Isaac never calls her Bell – she’s just “Jingle’s best friend.”

Isaac got a new soccer goal and ball set, which I think he’ll enjoy.

Laine got “Rody” who is a bouncing horse. This thing is hilarious!

The dress-up box from Grandma and Grandpa was a success. Laine tried on virtually every hat at least once. Todd and I also had fun with the different hats. 

Nana got Laine a little purse to carry around. She also received a picnic basket. She loves to carry things around in the crook of her elbow. This is how I expect her to look for a few weeks now:

The phone was also tremendously exciting. I guess it’s in the genes…

Nana also got Isaac this nifty drill set. He has had  a BLAST putting all of the screws/bolts into the tray and taking them out again. He usually uses the drill, but also experimented with the wrench. He doesn’t have much patience for the screwdriver.

Elke, Christian, and Milena came over for supper, as has become our annual tradition. I made my first Christmas goose and will definitely do it again. Meanwhile, Christian entertained all of the kids…

Today, Rody continues to be well-used. I laugh every time Laine gets on this thing. She doesn’t have any interest in holding on so that she doesn’t fall off…

Not to be outdone:

Rainy Day Videos

I took these videos a couple of weeks ago while Todd was in Switzerland, but then forgot to post them to the blog. Oops. Sorry the rain is so loud on the umbrella in the first 2 videos. It blocks out a lot of Isaac’s chattering, so you can’t tell what he’s saying. It wasn’t actually raining when we left the house about 3 minutes before I started recording.

After he finally left the puddle, I actually poured about 1/2 cup of water out of each of his boots.

Update on the Kids

Elaine is the perfect baby. She fell asleep (again!) while I was putting Isaac down for his nap. I take pictures to document that this can actually happen because I still don’t believe it. 🙂

She is just as cute, however, when she’s awake:

Isaac in the yard with some of his trucks:

Isaac and his new bubble maker. Jackson in tow to chase the bubbles:

Trucks in the dirt! There is still dirt around the garage side of the house. Isaac is very relieved.

As you can see:

Nana (my mom) is visiting for a week. Todd is going to Europe again. He’ll only be gone for a week this time, but I’m glad to have the company and the help…

Finally, this is how Isaac decided to rearrange our living room today… by taking every single toy out of the toy box:

Last Day in the Dirt

Sod was delivered this morning. Photos on that to follow in a post later. Maybe today. Maybe next week. LOL

This was yesterday. Playing bus:

Mom sitting on one of Isaac’s trucks:

Trucks on the pool:

I was excited about this, even though it seems like a small thing. Isaac carried 3 toys. He has one in the crook of his arm. That’s the first time I’ve seen him do that. I have done it a few zillion times, so it was neat to see him learn he could do it, too.

Laine stayed inside and snoozed. She’s not much for hot weather…

My view while sitting on the truck:


Arves brought us a super-cool bubble maker gun from Malaysia. Isaac and Jackson love it.

Helping Daddy dig in the front yard.

Todd installing a sprinkler head:

The sprinkler head:

Missing Nestle

As you are probably aware, this week I said good-bye to the cat I got in college. Nestle was with me for 12 years. I realized tonight that he was with me for 1/3 of my life. That’s a pretty long time and it’s going to take some time to adjust to life without him. He’s been avoiding us most of the time for at least the last year or so – pretty much since Isaac has been able to chase him. He had stopped eating most of his food. It took a while for us to notice this because Jackson would go in after Nestle stopped eating and take the leftovers. When I took him to the vet on Monday, Nestle had lost over 5 pounds (more than 25% of his body weight).

Last Friday night, Nestle was limping. Severely. We decided to wait until morning to see if he was better. Saturday morning, he was still limping but less, so we thought maybe he’d just pulled something and it would take a few days to heal. Sunday night, however, he was barely walking. I called the vet on Monday and dropped him off. They had to sedate him to do x-rays. They didn’t see anything major on the x-ray, but noted the decreased weight and ran some blood tests. I brought Nestle home with some paid meds and we tried to make the hall bathroom comfortable for him. We figured he’d be close to his food, water, and litter, and not too close to Isaac or Jackson. I had thought the pain medication would help, but it didn’t seem to. He was lethargic and wouldn’t move much. I took him back to the vet on Thursday because he was eating less than half his food and they wanted to do a sonogram to see if anything else was going on. The vet diagnosed him with “hepatic lipidosis.” In layman’s terms, he was a fat cat who stopped eating. His body started metabolizing the fat and was overwhelming his liver. They gave me some pills to help the liver function, 2 new types of food to try, B12 vitamins, an appetite stimulant, more pain meds, and something for joint support (they found arthritis when they reviewed the x-rays again). I brought him home on Thursday evening and we opened up his carrier, but set it in the bathroom so he could get out at his leisure. We took the lid off of it to medicate him that night.

Friday morning, Nestle hadn’t gotten out of his carrier. He’d gone to the bathroom and couldn’t seem to get up. He hadn’t eaten his dinner, even though it was dry food (his favorite). I checked in on him throughout the day, but he was obviously not improving. At about 3:00, I looked in on him and he just looked sad. And hurt. And I knew it was time. I called my friend Amalia. She came to the vet with the kids and me. She kept Isaac entertained in the waiting room and outside while I visited with the vet.

The vet gave Nestle a tranquilizer. I petted on him while he fell asleep. Then she gave him the medicine that stopped his heart. He passed away very peacefully. I know he isn’t suffering any more.

As much as he drove me nuts, I really miss him. I hope that he’s across the Rainbow Bridge eating lots of delicious carbs and resting in soft, enclosed, warm, sunny spots.

Isaac: Halloween, Grandparents, and General Goofiness

Todd’s parents have been in town, so I have been busy having non-computer-related fun for the last week+ and haven’t bothered with much blogging.  Since I know you would like to know what Isaac has been up to, here are a few shots from Halloween, Wurst Fest, visits with Grandma and Grandpa, and some general tom-foolery.  We have had a great few weeks!!!

Isaac dressed as a Hokie Bird for Halloween.  I tried to get photos.  I call this, “I’m not looking at you…”

“I’m still not looking at you…”


Oreos:  it’s what’s for Halloween dinner.  🙂

Silly boy on the stairs

Isaac has found a new fun toy.  My shoes.  

All of them…

A demonstration:

Grandma and Grandpa brought a drill that was once Todd’s when he was a little boy.  It has been a HIT with Isaac.  After all of those months watching Daddy with his drill working on projects, now Isaac can work on his own.

Does this fit here?

Yes!  It does!  Now how do I pull the trigger?

Thanks, Grandma!

A little help from Daddy…

Figuring out the drill:

He loves this toy (and Grandpa is giving Mom a hard time, as you can hear in the “background”) LOL

Fixing his rocking chair…

He actually did get the drill piece into the hole where the screw is holding the chair together.

Playing with Grandpa, Jackson, and, of course, the drill set.  I guess I am going to have to face facts that my son is probably going to want to be an engineer.  Or a contractor.  LOL

Mr. Fix-It

Trying to figure out Grandpa’s creation with the drill set pieces:

Playing with Grandpa and Jackson:

Rivets on the couch!

Jackson and Grandma are fun!

Sneak attack headed for the dog:

Tackle!  (Yes, we have the best dog EVER)

Showing off his climbing skills:

Walking around Wurst Fest with Daddy:

Having lots of fun!

Up close and personal with a member of the band:

Mommy sandwich!

My parents love me:

Sleepy boy at the condo (day after Wurst Fest):

Bagel for breakfast:

Isaac wants YOU!

Sweet, sweet boy…

Shopping with Daddy:

…Avoiding shopping with Grandpa:

Cutie in the high chair:

A total ham:


Playing at the park with Grandma:

Dancing with Daddy in Walburg, TX on a Friday night:

Little charmer (one of my favorite pictures):

One of the few shots of Isaac standing still in our back yard.  I love this picture!

Back yard fun with Jackson: